Authorities in the German city of Hamburg and German businesses in general have expressed their interest in the potential the Vietnamese market holds and their belief that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will help open up more opportunities for German companies in the country.
At a recent working session with Ambassador of Vietnam Nguyen Minh Vu, First Mayor of Hamburg Peter Tschentscher spoke highly of the traditional friendship and potential for cooperation between the two countries.
Hamburg always has its doors open and is ready to bolster cooperation with Vietnam, especially in fields where both sides possess strengths, he affirmed.
The mayor lauded the Vietnamese community’s dynamic integration into German society as well as its contribution to Hamburg’s economic development and cultural diversity.
For his part, Ambassador Vu said Germany is a leading partner of Vietnam in the EU, with two-way trade reaching 14 billion EUR in 2019.
He also highlighted the development of relations between Vietnam and Hamburg, particularly in trade, maritime transport, shipbuilding, and tourism, saying the German port city is as an important gateway for Vietnamese goods entering Germany and Europe.
Trade between Vietnam and Hamburg exceeded 2.32 billion EUR last year, up 10.8 percent year-on-year, according to the ambassador.
He said the two sides still have substantial potential for cooperation, most notably in maritime transport and renewable energy, including wind power, which is one of Hamburg’s strengths, and human resources training.
The ambassador hopes that Hamburg can step up connectivity and cooperation with coastal localities in Vietnam such as Da Nang, Hai Phong, and HCM City.
At a meeting with representatives from the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce (IHK), the German Asia-Pacific Business Association (OAV), and German companies, Vu spoke about Vietnam’s socio-economic development this year and the Vietnamese Government’s efforts at reforming administrative procedures and improving the local business environment to attract more foreign investors.
The EVFTA and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement are both expected to create new opportunities for Vietnam and its partners, he said.
The embassy is ready to work with German companies to promote cooperation between the two sides and to organise trade, investment, and tourism promotions between Vietnam and Hamburg.
President of IHK Hamburg Norbert Aust spoke highly of Vietnam’s dynamic development over the last 30 years, affirming the country is an attractive destination for both European and German investors.
More than 200 companies from Hamburg have established economic ties with Vietnam, while 60 others have opened representative offices or joint ventures in the country.
President of OAV Hans-Georg Frey said the association has focused on cooperation with ASEAN member countries while highlighting the long-term relationship between Vietnam and Germany in cooperation projects, particularly in renewable energy, the environment, and vocational training.
Vietnam, he added, has become an attractive destination for German companies in recent years.
He expressed his belief that with the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to improve the investment environment, the country’s socio-economic stability, and the EVFTA coming into effect, Vietnam can serve as a potential and reliable partner in the region, and the Vietnam-Germany strategic partnership will thrive in the near future.
German business representatives also shared their experience in doing business in various sectors in Vietnam, such as food, coffee, design, and foreign trade, with many saying the EVFTA will help remove tariff barriers and offer greater opportunities to both sides.
Participants were also impressed by Vietnam’s success in containing the coronavirus, expressing their hope that entry restrictions and quarantine procedures will be lifted soon so that trade may resume between the two countries./.